Ultimate Wildlife 8-Day EcoTour

8 Days
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Ultimate Wildlife 8-Day EcoTour


  • Panama City
  • Soberania National Park
  • Chiriqui Highlands
  • Bocas del Toro Archipelago


  • Hiking and wildlife viewing in over 4 National Parks and Wildlife Preserves
  • Kayaking the Panama Canal
  • Canopy Tour in remote Soberania National Park
  • Mount Totumas cloudforest
  • Relax on the pure white beaches of Bocas del Toro
  • World-class snorkeling at the the barrier reefs of Bastimentos Island National Marine Park
  • Expert naturalist guides
  • Breathtaking rainforest lodges

Itinerary at a Glance

  • DAY 1 Arrive Panama City
  • DAY 2 Panama Canal, Soberania National Park - Canopy Tower
  • DAY 3-5 Chiriqui Highlands
  • DAY 6-8 Bocas del Toro Archipelago

Ultimate Wildlife 8-Day EcoTour

A shorter version of our most popular itinerary emphasizing wildlife and bird watching "off the beaten path." For wildlife lovers who have only a week, the first 8 days are the same as our 13 day Panama Ultimate wildlife itinerary:
. The most value of any professional wildlife tour in Panama, including wildlife viewing in more than 4 National Parks and Wildlife Preserves, with rainforest hiking, islands, snorkeling, beaches, cloud-forests, remote rainforest preserves, rainforest canopy experience, and much more!
. Expert Local Naturalist Guides
. Beautiful Rainforest Lodges and Beachfront Cabanas  Some featured in Conde Nast, Travel & Leisure, and on Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel.
. Specifically designed to optimize the chances of seeing more wildlife by visiting a variety of different eco-systems, with no commercial "filler" activities.

Detailed Itinerary

DAY 1 Arrive in Panama

Upon arrival in Panama City you will be met at the Tocumen International Airport and transferred to your hotel in the Gamboa area.

Overnight Hotel Gamboa Rainforest Resort (or similar) - Deluxe River View Room

DAY 2 Kayaking the Panama Canal - Rainforest Discovery Center - Soberania National Park

Wildlife: Toucans, sloths, monkeys.

Early this morning meet your guide in the hotel lobby to begin your kayaking adventure on the Panama Canal. Keep your eyes open for toucans, sloths and other animals as they awake with the morning sun. Once you reach the dock you will receive a safety briefing and introductory paddling lesson before slipping into your kayaks to start paddling into the heart of the Panama Canal Zone. Seated at water level in your kayak will give you an interesting perspective of the Panama Canal in action. Giant container ships pass through the center while monkeys and sloth watch lazily from the rainforest covered shores. Our guide will lead you to places of special interest, while educating you about the flora and fauna of the area.

This afternoon explore the canopy of Soberania National Park; you will be fascinated by the beautiful view of the forest, the lake and the national parks that protect the canal’s watershed. The upper rainforest canopy at The Rainforest Tower is 30 meters high with emergent trees reaching 40m. Our naturalist guide will point out wildlife and explain the ecology and natural history. Includes: Private transportation, bilingual guide, entrance fees and snacks.

Overnight Hotel Gamboa Rainforest Resort (or similar) - Deluxe River View Room (Breakfast, Snacks)

DAY 3 Chiriquí Highlands

Wildlife: Monkeys, queztals, jaguar, ocelotuma and more.

Early in the morning transfer to Albrook domestic Airport for your 1 hour flight to David. You will be met by our representative who will transfer you to Volcan, west of Volcano Baru. Enjoy lunch at a local gourmet restaurant, Cerro Brujo, then begin the 2 hour journey to Mount Totumas, a private 400 acre cloud forest reserve. The journey will start on a paved road and continue by windy dirt road, crossing many small streams until you reach a fantastic 4WD road with incredible views of the cloud-forest, and great opportunities to spot wildlife and birds. Upon arrival, short orientation followed by an afternoon hike on the reserve.

Mt. Totumas is located in the buffer zone directly bordering La Amistad National Park. For this reason there are still apex predators like Jaguar, ocelot and Puma (all of which the lodge regularly spots on its camera-traps!) along with 3 species of monkeys and some of the most sought after charismatic bird species of the cloud-forest, including the Resplendent Quetzal.

Overnight at Mount Totumas - Double Room. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 4 Mount Totumas - Hiking and Wildlife Viewing

Enjoy a half-day guided hike in search of wildlife and enjoy the untouched fauna, then sit back and view wildlife and birds right from the deck of your lodge perched on a ridge overlooking the valley with spectacular views of La Amistad National Park and the cloud-forest canopy in the foreground!

Overnight at Mount Totumas - Double Room. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 5 Land and Boat Transfer to Bocas del Toro Archipelago

Today you will be transferred by land and boat from Boquete to Bocas del Toro Archipelago. You will pass through the Talamanca Continental Divide and enjoy the amazing landscape of the Panama highlands. Enjoy the spectacular view of areas of the Palo Seco and La Fortuna Natural Reserves during your land transfer. Upon arrival to Almirante (Bocas del Toro Mainland pier), you will board a water taxi that will take you to Isla Colon. (Ground Transfer approximately 3 1/2 hours, Boat transfer approximately 30 minutes.) Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel and check in.

Overnight Eclypse del Mar OR Al Natural - Standard Room. (Breakfast)

DAY 6-7 Bocas del Toro Archipelago

Highlights: World-class snorkeling on a tropical island paradise.

Wildlife: Dolphins, 4 species of endangered sea turtles, coral of every color of the spectrum, abundant fish including stunning queen angels, fairy basselets, rock beauties, green moray, damselfish and four-eyed butterfly fishes. Four species of primates including night monkeys, plus sloths, strawberry poison dart frogs, and seasonal visits from bellbirds, and other rare wildlife.

Each day enjoy a choice of one included tour from your lodge. Choices include:

* Visiting some of the most exotic and isolated virgin beaches located in the different Islands of the Archipelago.

* Snorkeling at the Coral Reefs of the bay to see lots different kind of corals, tropical fishes and starfishes.

* Boat rides through the island to visit indigenous communities.

* Hiking in the rainforest to see the flora and fauna.

* Motorized canoe river trips to search the slots and the white face monkeys.

* Boat tours to meet dolphins in their natural habitat.

* Visiting Bocas town to buy some handcraft and admire its afro-Caribbean colonial architecture style.

Overnight Eclypse del Mar OR Al Natural - Standard Room. (Breakfast)

DAY 8 Bocas del Toro / Panama City / USA

Today at the appropriate time you will be transferred to Bocas del Toro airport for your flight back to Panama City. Upon your arrival you will be met by our representative and transferred to the Tocumen International airport in time for your flight home.

*Note: Flights to and from David, Chiriqui have a baggage check in allowance of 30kg free of charge, however, on flight to other destinations such as Bocas del Toro have a 14kg baggage check in allowance free of charge. Every kg after 30kg will have the cost of 2USD. We recommend clients flying to multiple destinations to only check in 30kg to avoid extra costs.


Panama Lodging

Our Ultimate Wildlife itinerary specializes in small, one-of-a-kind rainforest and jungle lodges, many of which have been featured on the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and in top travel magazines such as Travel & Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler. Great care has gone into our selection of lodging partners, with particular emphasis on lodges that offer outstanding wildlife viewing opportunities. These beautiful rainforest lodges offer all the comforts of home, including hot & cold water, flush toilets, tastefully decorated beds (often orthopedic), and delicious home cooked meals, sometimes extravagant, always healthy, and catering to special dietary needs.


Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Gamboa Rainforest Resort is a unique property near the Soberania National Park Rainforest, on the banks of the Chagres River and Panama Canal.


Mount Totumas Eco-Lodge

Mount Totumas Lodge is perched on a ridge top overlooking the canopy of primary forest with sweeping views of La Amistad National Park. The design of the lodge was envisioned with large wrap around windows to allow guests to enjoy wide open views of the forest from many angles. In the living room accordian french doors open to the deck, perfect for wildlife observation and star gazing at night.

Suites and rooms are designed to provide each guest a private luxurious space. Private bathrooms have large skylights and planters to create a garden space in your room.

The trails into the cloud forest start from the front door of the lodge.

The restaurant creates dishes drawing from our gardens and the local produce vendors in Volcan. Lemon Grass, ginger, thai basil, kafir lime, galanga, anise, fennel, beets, oregano, rosemary, naranjilla, salzamora, cherimoya, loquat, just a few of the ingredients we use in preparing delicious and unique meals.


Eclypse del Mar Aqua Lodge

Eclypse del Mar Aqua Lodge is committed to the environment and biodiversity and aimed at proving that communities are able to live in harmony with nature. This resort has exclusive individual bungalows carefully furnished and built over the water on the Caribbean Sea (with private bathroom, hot water shower, fans, hammocks, room service, and private terrace from where you can have a spectacular sunset view over the ocean).

Al Natural Resort

Between jungle and sea, Al Natural Resort is a comfortable and private retreat, perfectly integrated into the lush tropical environment. The resort elegantly combines the ancestral craftsmanship of the Ngobe-Bugle Indians with new technologies that allow us to harvest energy from the sun and limit our impact on the ecosystem. The resort is situated on a small secluded beach far from Bocas town, surrounded bu luxuriant vegetation and close to the natural wonders of Bastimentos Island National Marine park. In order to provide each guest with maximum privacy, it is our goal to maintain an intimate scale for the resort, there are only seven beach bungalows, each of a different size and unique design. Al Natural is an authentic eco-resort with a relax atmosphere and a friendly team which offers a comfortable level of personalized services. Gourmet meals, prepared with fresh local products by our European Chef, are served in our two-story restaurant.


Panama Activities

At a Glance

We know you've chosen to travel with us for our wildlife emphasis, so we've included a wide variety of adventure activities designed to educate, inspire, and bring out the wonder in you. All of our activities are flexibly designed to accommodate different skill levels and interests, while exposing you to a variety of unique eco-systems in order to see the most amount of wildlife. And did we mention fun?

  • Wildlife Viewing in more than 4 National Parks & Exclusive Private Wildlife Preserves
  • Kayaking on the Panama Canal
  • Rainforest Hiking and Canopy Tour in Remote Chiriqui Cloudforest
  • Bocas del Toro Islands, Snorkeling & Beaches
  • Expert Local Naturalist Guides
  • Beautiful Rainforest Lodges & Beachfront Cabanas

Other Activities

Unparalleled Wildlife Viewing

The most value of any professional wildlife tour in Panama, including wildlife viewing in more than 4 National Parks and Wildlife Preserves. Visit the Panama Canal Zone, Gamboa Rainforest Resort, Rainforest Discovery Center, Soberania National Park and Chiriqui Cloudforest.

Canopy Tour in Remote Soberania National Park

Enjoy hiking and wildlife viewing, including canopy bridges that allow you to explore the rainforest at canopy level for a birds-eye view of Lake Gatun and the park's astounding wildlife, which includes monkeys, sloths, iguanas, and more.

Spectacular Snorkeling and Beaches of Bocas del Toro Archipelago

Because Bocas is outside the hurricane belt, much of the reef has escaped the kind of damage the characterizes the Belize reef. Coral around Bocas - especially in the Bastimentos Marine Wildlife Sanctuary - is abundant, including a wide array of unusually colorful soft corals. In these days of global warming, it is nearly impossible to find such vibrant colonies of coral as are commonly found around Bocas. Enjoy snorkeling the barrier reefs of Bocas, including Zapatillas Cay, Coral Cay, and Old Point Beach, home to some of the most colorful coral - and abundant marine life - in all of Central America! Relax on pristine tropical beaches or by your beachfront cabana.

Option to Visit Salt Creek Ngoble Bugle Indigenous Village

Also in Boca del Toros, choose to canoe amongst the mangroves, a nursery for young tropical fish, followed by a hike with indigenous Ngoble Bugle guides into the island's wildlife-rich interior, searching for Night Monkeys and other rare wildlife. Sloth and monkeys are found on the island, and the electronic-sounding "bonk" of migrating bellbirds can often be heard throughout the entire island.


Panama Wildlife

Rare or Endagered Possible Sightings

Mammals: Jaguar & other cats, tapir, porcupine, silky anteater, grey fox, olingo, paca, grison
Reptiles, Insects & Amphibians: Fleishman's glass frogs (see-through), leatherback turtles, green turtles, Hercules beetles
Birds: Ornate hawk-eagle, harpy eagle, great green macaw, king vulture, white hawk, great potoo, scissor-tailed flycatcher, royal flycatcher, and many more.

Likely Sightings

Primates: Squirrel monkeys, night monkeys, Geoffrey's tamarin
Other Mammals: Tamandua (anteater), kinkajou, agouti, tayra, peccaries (collared & white-liped), dolphins
Reptiles & Insects: Red-eyed tree frogs, walking sticks, sea turtles, fer-de-lance, leaf-cutter ants
Birds: Resplendent quetzals, scarlet macaws, lovely cotingas, scarlet-thighed dacnis, green honeycreepers, roseate spoonbill, woodstorks, crested caracara, purple gallinule, northern jacanas, great curassow

Prolific Sightings

Wild Planet's wildlife eco-tours are designed for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Our "Ultimate Wildlife" eco-adventures are specially designed for maximum wildlife viewing. We take care to seek out wildlife that is rare, off the beaten path, and in greater numbers than you will see on conventional tours.

Our expert naturalist guides will educate you in the field so your experience is intimate and unparalleled. Still, wildlife viewing can unpredictable and requires patience and sensory awareness.

Primates: Howler monkeys, white-faced capuchin monkeys
Other mammals: Three-toed sloth, two-toed sloth, coatimundi, bats
Reptiles & Insects: Crocodiles, caimen, blue morpho butterflies, basilisk (Jesus Christ lizards), poison arrow frogs
Birds: 600 species including parrots, trogons, mot-mots, tanagers, Montezuma's oropendulas, hawks, squirrel cuckoos, owls, herons, kingfishers, 60 species of hummingbirds and much more.


Panama Guides

Ian Sanchez


Born and raised in Panama, Ian Sanchez has been a naturalist and adventure guide for 18 years. Ian has a degree in Geology from the University of South Florida, USA and he worked for 8 years as a naturalist park ranger in Grand Canyon, Canyonlands and Big Bend National Parks. He has been a part time naturalist guide at Panama's Smithsonian's Barro Colorado Scientific Research Station for six years. Ian leads trips covering Panamanian wildlife, history and rainforest ecology. In addition to wildlife viewing, Ian is an extraordinarily qualified guide whose area of expertise also includes adventure activities such as mountain biking, sea-kayaking, caving, rafting and whitewater kayaking.

Kenny Weeks


Kenny Weeks, a native Panamanian has been working in the eco-tourism industry for over 15 years with an emphasis on wildlife viewing, birdwatching and culture. The Panama Canal Zone is his second home town since he was raised in this area. He is bilingual and bicultural. The families, history, and operations of the canal, and rainforest has been a major part of Kenny's life during his childhood.

Growing up in a small town surrounded by the rainforest grew his passion for nature. Kenny is one of our top Panamanian naturalists due in no small part to his extraordinary passion. Hiking and wildlife observation is not only part of his job, but what you'll find him engaging in after hours as well!

Venicio Wilson

Birding Specialist

Venicio "Beny" Emmanuelle Wilson was born in Almirante, province of Bocas del Toro in Western Panama in a house surrounded by beautiful creeks and swamp forests. It was there that his father and grandfather inspired his interest in wildlife. Beny began his passion for birds at age 16 when he accidentally got a copy of "A Field Guide to the Birds of Panama". Two years later, along with other fellow biology students at the University of Panama, he created Grupo Ecologista Vida, a non profit group offering environmental education for school kids of the city of Colon. Besides wildlife viewing, birding and hiking, Beny is also is a connoisseur in frogs, especially the Dendrobatid poison frogs. He is also credentialed as a Certified Interpretive Guide from the National Association for Interpretation (USA).


Panama FAQ

Panama Facts for Visitors

Climate/Best Time to Go:

Average year-round temperatures are a balmy 75°F to 85°F (24°C-29°C), varying only with altitude. Humidity is always high in Panama, and rainfall varies noticeably between the Pacific and Caribbean sides of the country, with some areas in the Caribbean receiving almost twice the yearly rainfall of Panama City. The best time to visit Panama is during the summer dry season from mid-December to mid-April. This is also high season. Caribbean destinations such as Bocas del Toro have a shorter dry season, usually September/October and February/March, but really showers can occur on any given day.

Best time to go: late November through April

This Trip's Exclusive Wildlife Features:

Choose Your Panama Travel Style! Any of our wildlife adventures are also available as fully customizable private trips, honeymoons or family wildlife adventures.
We're Wild for Wildlife...
  • Best Snorkeling in the Americas - Bocas is located completely outside the hurricane belt and off tourist radar. The reef is amongst the most pristine in the world with very low levels of bleaching or damage
  • Special Wildlife Activities - Hike with indigenous Ngoble Bugle guides to see rare night monkeys
  • Private Eco-Lodge Reserves - Burbayar and Finca Lerida offer astounding biodiversity and exclusive access to rare wildlife populations
We're Wild for Wildlife...
  • Best Snorkeling in the Americas - Bocas is located completely outside the hurricane belt and off tourist radar. The reef is amongst the most pristine in the world with very low levels of bleaching or damage
  • Special Wildlife Activities - Hike with indigenous Ngoble Bugle guides to see rare night monkeys
  • Private Eco-Lodge Reserves - Burbayar and Finca Lerida offer astounding biodiversity and exclusive access to rare wildlife populations

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